While it wasn’t as exciting as the previous night’s game, the Checkers on Sunday came away with their second consecutive win over Iowa, trumping the Wild 2-1 in a shootout.
After a back-and-forth first period that left both teams scoreless, Ryan Murphy broke the ice with a power-play blast from the point in the second period. The Checkers clung to that lead until early in the third, when Zack Mitchell converted a breakaway chance to even the score.
The clubs engaged in a deadlock that carried through the remainder of regulation and the five-minute, three-on-three overtime and the game proceeded to a shootout. Drew MacIntyre dominated as he has all season, turning aside both Wild shooters he faced, while Justin Shugg and Derek Ryan buried their attempts to clinch the two points for Charlotte.
While the offense from last night wasn’t there for the home team, it was enough to get the victory, marking the Checkers’ first back-to-back wins at Bojangles’ Coliseum this season.
“I thought our start was a little better,” said Charlotte coach Mark Morris. “We just couldn’t generate the same type of consistent game as we had in the third period (of last night’s game). A win’s a win, and certainly we would have liked to have won it in regulation, but kudos to the guys that were able to bury the puck in the shootout and a good job in the shootout there to MacIntyre, who came up big for us.”
After another high-octane overtime that yielded no goals, the Checkers found themselves back in the shootout, where they have been unbeatable this season. They improved to 4-0 in shootouts this season, and MacIntyre continued to be a brick wall. He has now stopped all eight attempts he’s faced this season.
“I think I feel pretty comfortable in them but a lot of it has to do with your mentality,” said MacIntyre, who has now stopped 29 of the 31 attempts he’s seen as a member of the Checkers. “If you have an aggressive mentality, you¹re usually confident. They kind of go hand-in-hand.”